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MC Girls Advance to Tip-Off Title Game
Dec. 6, 2014
Athleticism drives Mifflin County
Trio leads girls to big victory
December 6, 2014
Lewistown Sentinel Save |,
LEWISTOWN - And a child shall lead them.
That is exactly what happened in a season opening 68-30 victory for the Mifflin County girls' basketball team over Bellefonte Friday night.
An impressive freshman debut, a solid defensive effort and nine treys where the highlights of the Huskies' victory in the opening game of the Mifflin County Tip-Off Tournament.
Sentinel photo by BUFFIE?BOYER
Mifflin County’s Maggie Wilson, top, battles for the ball with Bellefonte’s Marissa Moriarta (21) and Ally Steen Friday in Lewistown. See more photos online at cu.lewistownsentinel.com
Eleana Eckley made her varsity debut a memorable one with 12 points, seven assists and four steals on the night. Jessa Wright (16 points, seven rebounds) and Maggie Wilson (12 points) also finished in double figures for Mifflin County.
"I was a little nervous, especially in the beginning," Eckley said. "Once I got settled in everything went well. I had a pretty good opening night, but there are things I can work on and get better. We had a lot of heart and a drive to win tonight."
The Huskies jumped out to a 13-5 lead after a quarter with Wright and Eckley combining for the first 11 points of the game, while forcing 10 Red Raider turnovers in the first four minutes of the game.
"I thought we did some things well. I guess as a coach I think a lot of it was because we were better athletically," Mifflin County coach Roger Herto said. "We didn't execute well at times. I am always happy with a win. You have to appreciate every one you get. We are going to have to execute much better against Northeastern.
"We threw a lot of young kids into the fire tonight and hopefully as these kids play together more, they will start to see the fruits of their labor. We played 12 kids and we want them to stay hungry. We are hoping a certain group will show us something and assert themselves. Each one of them gives us different things and I can see us using a lot of these kids as the season goes along."
The Huskies broke the game opening the second quarter, outscoring Bellefonte 19-5 in the period with Wright picking up eight points to pace the victors to a 32-10 halftime advantage.
"Individually, I thought the kids we expected to do well, did. Jessa played hard, Bryce (Papp) defensively did a very nice job. A lot of the things Bryce does for us won't show up in the scorebook all the time," Herto said. "A lot of our kids stepped on the varsity court for the first time and did a good job. It's a big jump and sometimes when you do that things don't always come out perfect.
"Eleana has a lot of ability. The best thing about her is she will tell you she made some mistakes tonight. We got away with that a little because of our athleticism. We won't be able to do that all the time. She has a ton of potential and so do many of our other kids. For a first game, I think she should be pleased with how she did."
The Red Raiders were stymied by Mifflin County's athleticism and hustle. The result was 29 Bellefonte turnovers.
"The turnovers definitely hurt us. They had us on our heels," first-year Bellefonte coach Adam Gearhart said. "That's a credit to Roger and how he teaches the game. They came out and did what he wanted them to do. We were hanging in there the first quarter and then in the second quarter they opened it up.
"As frustrating as it is, I'm not going to quit and the girls aren't going to quit. It's just one game. We have to bounce back, forget this game and move on and come back ready to play."
Mifflin County extended its lead to 54-19 with a 22-9 third quarter. Eckley led the way with six points and Wilson collected five.
Jess Book led the Red Raiders with 16 points with half of those coming in the fourth quarter. For Herto, the win was a strange kind of birthday present considering he coached most of the girls on the Bellefonte squad.
"This was a really odd game to play this team because most of these kids I started with," Herto said. "We started them as freshman and now they are seniors. Jon (Corbin) and I went through many growing pains with them. Time doesn't stand still does it? I really wish them well. We have a tough game ahead of us in the tournament and I hope the fans get out here and support the kids."
The Huskies take on Northeastern tonight at 6.
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